What Is Child Find?
Child Find is a continuous process of public awareness activities, screening and evaluation designed to locate, identify, and refer as early as possible all young children with disabilities and their families who are in need of Early Intervention Program (Part C) or Preschool Special Education (Part B/619) services of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
To receive Early Intervention Program or Special Education, children must meet eligibility guidelines according to the IDEA. States have different eligibility guidelines for their Early Intervention Program and Special Education services. In addition to children with disabilities, some states have elected to provide early intervention services for infants and toddlers who are at risk of developmental delay and their families. For information on the definition of disability under IDEA and eligibility criteria for early intervention in your state, contact your state's Part C coordinator at http://www.nectac.org/contact/Ptccoord.asp
IDEA requires all states to have a "comprehensive Child Find system" to assure that all children who are in need of early intervention or special education services are located, identified, and referred. The lead agency for Part C of IDEA Early Intervention Program and for Part B/619 (serving preschoolers with special educational needs) in each state is responsible for planning and implement a comprehensive child find system. In some states, the lead agency for these two programs is one and the same, while in others, different agencies oversee the two programs.
What's Included in a Comprehensive Child Find System?
A comprehensive Child Find system includes at least seven major elements:
Information Adapted from START resource packet: Child Find by B. Bourland and G. Harbin, 1987
Where Can I Find The Specific Components for Part C Child Find? In addition to direct links to the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center web site at http://www.nectac.org/topics/earlyid/earlyid.asp , more information about Part C IDEA, child find and related components can be found at the IDEA Practices web site through the links listed below:
For a more comprehensive link to all the IDEA laws and rules and regulations link to the IDEA Practices web site at IDEA '97 Law & Regs.